WIDNES Wild secured their first ever league title after a 4-1 win over north-west rivals Altrincham Aces at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday, writes Paul Breeze.

The win sees them lead the Laidler Division table with 52 points with just two games left to play and they cannot now be overtaken by Telford Tigers who are confirmed as runners up.

The game on Sunday started badly for the Wild as Altrincham scored the first goal after just 41 seconds of the game and it took another 10 minutes before Widnes finally drew level with a goal from Czech import Michal Novak.

The score was still 1-1 at the first break and remained so until Chris Gee eventually fired the Wild into the lead just 4 seconds short of the halfway mark.

A powerplay goal from Mikey Gilbert some 5 minutes later effectively ended the game as a contest but the seriously short-benched Aces battled on and gave a very good account of themselves despite their numerical inferiority.

A second goal from Michal Novak with just 2 minutes left in the game rounded off the scoring for the evening and, as the buzzer sounded, the rink erupted in celebration.

Having finished runners up for the past three seasons, the winning of the long elusive Laidler Division title comes as a relief to players and fans alike and is a great achievement for Wild player coach Ollie Barron, who had never coached a team before joining Widnes three years ago.

After the game, Barron said: “What a great night! Our hard work from late July when we held open trials, to selecting a squad to confirming our first league championship has paid off.” “This was a true team effort, from coaching staff, to players, rink staff, volunteers and, of course, our great fans.”

“We will enjoy this moment, but still have 2 league games against Deeside to prepare for to gain momentum into the national final weekend in Coventry and then the Laidler playoff weekend in Widnes.”

The Wild are away to local rivals Deeside Dragons this Sunday 24th March in North Wales - 5.45pm face off – and then round off their regular Laidler Division season schedule with a home game against the Dragons on Sunday 31st March at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.

Saturday 16th March 2019 – EIHA North Under 13 Division 3

Wild Academy U13s 10 – Grimsby U13s 6

The Widnes Wild Academy Under 13 team picked up their 3rd win of the season with a highly entertaining and well-played 10-6 victory over the Grimsby U13 team at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

Widnes took the lead after just 8 seconds of the game through Adam Vigh-Yecsey and a goal from Jared Knowles just 43 seconds later saw them leading 2-0 within the first minute.

Grimsby hit back some 60 seconds later and then went on to equalise on 7 minutes. A short handed goal by Vigh-Yecsey edged the Wild ahead again shortly after but Grimsby hit back again to level the score at 3-3. A goal from Wild captain Aidan Lamb on 13 minutes rounded off the scoring in a breathtakingly exciting first period and the Wild U13s led 4-3 at the first break.

Strangely enough, Vigh Yecsey scored again for the Wild exactly 8 seconds into the second period to make the score 5-3 and goals from Thomas Warburton and Cody Ogden saw the home side leading 7-3 before the Grimsby team staged another battling comeback. 3 goals in the space of just 4 minutes pulled the visitors back into contention and the score stood at 7-6 after two periods.

It is often said that things happen in threes and, oddly enough, Adam Vigh-Yecsey scored AGAIN for Widnes 8 seconds into the third period – another shorthanded goal – and, this time, the Wild finally began to pull away. Two goals from Cody Ogden secured the win for the Wild Academy and Harry Bird – once again making a guest appearance in goal for the last 15 minutes – helped keep the Grimsby attack at bay, picking up a third period “shut out”.

Adam Vigh-Yecsey’s 4-goal haul sees him move to the top of the Wild U13 scoring table with 14+4 in 12 games, just one point ahead of Cody Ogden who has 16 +1 from 9 games. Thomas Warburton’s 1+1 were his first points in Widnes colours and Austin Busby’s assist was also his first competitive point

The Wild Under 13 team are next in action on Sunday 31st March when they travel away to Grimsby in a 4.30pm face off game. They are next at home on Saturday 6th April when they take on the Blackburn U13 team at Planet Ice Widnes in what will be their last home game of the season.